STATE – On Tuesday, the U.S. Postal Service announced plans to consider closing more than 10 percent of its nearly 32,000 retail offices nationwide, including 50 in New Jersey.
As more customers choose to conduct their postal business online, on their smart phones and at their favorite shopping destinations, the need for local post offices diminishes, officials say.
“Today, more than 35 percent of the Postal Service’s retail revenue comes from expanded access locations such as grocery stores, drug stores, office supply stores, retail chains, self-service kiosks, ATMs and usps.com, open 24/7,” said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. “Our customer’s habits have made it clear that they no longer require a physical post office to conduct most of their postal business.”
Among the post offices being considered for closure are Hillside and Industrial Hillside, Roselle, Townley in Union, Handy Street in New Brunswick, Raritan Center and Menlo Park in Edison, Muhlenberg and Netherwood in Plainfield, North Plainfield, and Roselle Park. The full list of New Jersey post office locations that could be affected is online at USPS.com.
For communities currently without a postal retail office and for communities affected by these retail optimization efforts, the Postal Service introduced the Village Post Office as a potential replacement option. Village Post Offices would be operated by local businesses, such as pharmacies, grocery stores and other appropriate retailers, and would offer popular postal products and services such as stamps and flat-rate packaging.
“By working with third-party retailers, we’re creating easier, more convenient access to our products and services when and where our customers want them,” Donahoe said. “The Village Post Office will offer another way for us to meet our customers’ needs.”
As a result of the potential closings, as many as 4,500 postal workers could lose their jobs.
A proposal to reduce mail delivery to five days per week is being considered as well.
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